SocraticGadfly: So, Bernie wanted to 'send a message,' and then fold?

April 05, 2016

So, Bernie wanted to 'send a message,' and then fold?

That's the bottom line, Sandernistas, from this NYT piece.

First, most the strategery fails it mentions? It falls short of being thorough on the missteps Sanders did make. I noted several last month that the story missed, from being a late entrant into the race through calling himself a "socialist" when he's not. (I'm more of a socialist than Bernie is — except for things like corporate welfare for Big Ag.)

Back to that piece, though.

Yes, he's brought up, finally, her speaking fees. But, he thought he could "send a message" without that?

No, he hasn't brought up her email problems, let alone her support for coups, and no, Liberal Values blog, not even the emails, let alone Honduras or other foreign policy issues outside the bipartisan box, will get mentioned on April 14. Five bucks says nothing about the "Panama Papers" comes up, either, speaking of open government. CNN will take a powder, and so will Sanders. After all, a piece in The Week, which linked to the NYT piece, itself took a powder on any foreign policy issues, let alone any major differences, expressed or not, between the two. (Neither does the NYT piece, for that matter.)

Speaking of, let's get back again to the NYT piece and wrap in my header. This:
All those decisions (including not mentioning the $675K speaking fees) stemmed in part from Mr. Sanders’s outlook on the race. He was originally skeptical that he could beat Mrs. Clinton, and his mission in 2015 was to spread his political message about a rigged America rather than do whatever it took to win the nomination.
More on that here:
Sanders, hunched over a U-shaped conference table, rejected it as a personal attack on Mrs. Clinton’s income — the sort of character assault he has long opposed. She has the right to make money, he offered.
Well, hell, if you were skeptical about winning, wouldn't you be even more hardcore about spreading your message? 

I would think you would — especially if you're not a Democrat. But, of course, despite spinners, usually establishmentarian ones, as shown here in Texas ...

So, whatever message he wanted to send wasn't really revolutionary. If it were, he would have started by criticizing Obama for not nationalizing some banks back in 2009, as deemed necessary. (This, too, is another way in which I'm more of an actual socialist than Sanders, giving it a bit more discussion here.)

More evidence that he is a Democrat:
(H)e was disheartened with the Feb. 20 caucuses in Nevada, where he lost by five points. In an interview, he said he had strong support from voters there but — because of time, resources or other factors — his campaign could not turn them out.
“In Nevada, we knew where our support was,” Mr. Sanders said. “We brought out significantly less than we should have, and that’s the difference.”
Well, not totally.

Harry Reid made sure it was easier for Clinton to bring out her supporters. And, even though you’re finally mentioning her speech money, you’re still pulling punches on Harry Reid.

As for not resigning his Senate seat and being a part-time campaigner early on? Hell, Bob Dole recognized in 1996, at least for the general election. Should Sanders get lucky with the Democratic nomination, does he intend to not do that, even?

I think that what we're seeing in part is Sanders campaign spin.

He's trying to look like he's not a "politician," even though he has been for 35 years, in part.

Sanders claimed he decided to start raising the issue after learning in January that Goldman Sachs had dodged harsh financial penalties on some issues. Please. There was plenty of reason to worry specifically about Goddam Sachs, from its original shenanigans to its attempts to co-op renewable energy out West and all sorts of points in between, long before this January.

On Clinton's emails, Bob Kerrey puts it well that it was an attempt to avoid accountability.

Let’s now listen to Sanders adviser Tad Devine:
“The central complication with Bernie is that he never wanted to cross into the zone of personal attacks because it would undercut his brand,” Mr. Devine said. “Is there another candidate who could have run a tough negative campaign against her from the beginning and been effective? Sure, but it couldn’t have been Bernie. That’s just not who he is.”

The Bernie Sanders who yelled at people who said he was a sellout on Palestinian issues? The Bernie who’s yelled at people over the F-35 criticism? The Sanders who’s been called a curmudgeon and worse by Vermont media?

Ahh, such sweetness and light.

Well, Devine was right — Bernie’s been selling a brand.

And, since he said from the start he would support the eventual Democratic nominee, he either decided to run until he got beat, then sell out his supporters in the claim that his message had been heard — and received, or else he's decided to modulate a selective, targeted message as an actual politician — and then fold if not nominated, like  Just.Another.Politician.™

Take your pick.

Beyond that, one may start revolutions in a theoretical sense, but one doesn't actually push a revolution by negotiating with those who have their hands on the levers of power. One does so by seizing the levers of power themselves.

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